The National Let Their Stirring Sound Ring Out

August 4, 2008 12:55 AM ET

If there was ever a band who didn't fit the festival mold, it's the National. Their songs are late-night meditations on love, loss and regret — not exactly rousing sing-along material. However, that didn't stop a passionate crowd from turning downtrodden tunes like "Baby, We'll Be Fine" (with it's refrain of "I'm so sorry for everything") into unabashed anthem. The group's stirring indie anthems were augmented by a horn section, which gave "Start a War" a little extra gravitas. Frontman Matthew Beringer didn't seem fazed by the venue in the slightest — perhaps opening an arena tour for R.E.M. lent him some swagger — and he managed to whip the crowd into a frenzy while shredding his vocal cords during the set-closing "Mr. November," which he dedicated to Barack Obama.

More Lollapalooza Coverage: Rock 'N' Roll Diary

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »